Welcome!

Perl Authors: Jyoti Bansal, Liz McMillan, Mike Hicks, RealWire News Distribution, Bob Gourley

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Open Source Cloud, @BigDataExpo

@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

IoT Network Visibility | @ThingsExpo @SolarWinds #IoT #IIoT #M2M #API

Accelerating complexity is just one challenge in how hybrid IT is affecting IT departments

Why Network Visibility Beyond the Firewall Is Critical in the IoT Era

In the hybrid IT era, complexity is the name of the game. In fact, according to the recent SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017, IT professionals report the number one challenge of hybrid IT is increased infrastructure complexity. Accelerating complexity is just one challenge in how hybrid IT is affecting IT departments. Internet of things (IoT) implementations are a great example of one more unexpected, emerging technology IT teams must address.

In the report, IT professionals reported the second greatest challenge of hybrid IT is lack of control and visibility into the performance of cloud-based applications and infrastructure. Most IoT devices connect to cloud back ends or edge/fog-distributed endpoints, rather than traditional data centers. Distributed workloads by their nature put admins in a bind, and the multiplicative nature of IoT devices makes the visibility challenge even more difficult. But this isn't all doom and gloom. The path to managing these complexities is found by exploring the ways IoT use cases play out in different implementations, and identifying solutions for IT professionals to better manage the hybrid IT and IoT convergence.

IoT in Practice
To best understand how to manage complexity and gain visibility beyond the firewall in the IoT era, consider common IoT scenarios in hybrid IT organizations.

Cloud-Based IoT
In this scenario, the back end of the IoT infrastructure is in the public cloud. Potentially millions of distributed devices and multiple clustered workload systems are all reporting data back to the cloud, making cloud monitoring extremely critical. IT professionals managing these cloud-based IoT implementations must be able to view the entire network path to ensure end-user performance, or at least synthetic application performance (if the end user is an IoT bot). This can be difficult because the traffic is completely outside of the firewall. Instrumenting the end-user experience is key to troubleshooting issues, and monitoring cloud infrastructure and cloud components of the application at the same time is necessary.

On-Premises IoT
A great example of this scenario would be industrial IoT, where there are multiple IoT devices but production data is captured in the organization's data center. In this case, the IoT devices create massive amounts of data on-premises, effectively creating the complexity of analyzing a multi-tiered Big Data application. Massive processing and storage is required - perhaps Hadoop® and MapReduce are at play - as well as streaming analytics and transformation. And then, of course, there are security considerations, reporting or regulatory requirements that stem from allowing IoT devices to connect with the data delivery network. For example, are there considerations for new protocols like MQ Telemetry Transport Protocol (MQTT) access instead of HTTP and managing Transport Layer Security (TLS) traffic through the firewall?

All of this can place a significant inbound traffic burden on the on-premises data center, a relative tidal wave from the outside world into the on-premises system via firewalls. An added wrinkle is open source. Many IoT solutions and enabling technologies are based on open source, publicly available projects. Too often, developers in a hurry to get to market are quick to download a package off of GitHub without vetting for security. IT professionals and security managers must ensure control and some method of codebase oversight over these new application delivery stack elements to secure the code accessing our networks.

Edge-Based IoT
This is also known as fog-based IoT - computing at the edge. Here, distributed data collection and processing facilities distill data in the field rather than sending in built-to-cloud or on-premises repositories. For example, a municipal government may have sensors watching traffic patterns to optimize traffic light signaling strategies. In their model, processing IoT data in the field is more cost effective, even if it requires distributed compute resources located offsite. However, those distributed elements must still be managed, their network traffic assured, and performance monitored just as if they were safely back home in a rack, but with the challenge of remote access and latency.

Best Practices for Managing IoT Complexity and Visibility
Regardless of whether an IoT implementation is cloud-based, on-premises, or on the edge, there are common practices that should be followed in order to conquer complexity and visibility issues:

  1. The most powerful tool for hybrid IT gives a single view. Troubleshooting across the boundaries of hybrid IT can have massive positive effects on productivity. At the end of the day, successful management of IoT requires cross-environment visibility.
  2. Education and skill-building should be ongoing. IT departments should work with the business to ensure some budget is allocated to education, personal development training, conference passes, and certifications for IT professionals. Investing in the IT team can pay some of the greatest dividends in terms of being able to manage complexity, especially considering that nearly half of today's IT professionals say IT professionals entering the workforce now do not possess the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments. Create the skills on teams now instead of waiting for them to come in the future.
  3. Geek out on data. IT professionals should think about how to unlock their inner data scientists. Rather than just pushing data around, it's important for today's IT professionals to bring operations data and hybrid IT data into the lab and experiment with it. Doing this will likely uncover new insights that can help identify performance issues associated with IoT.

Perhaps one day, there will just be cloud, but in no case is that tomorrow. Hybrid IT will only become more complex and difficult to manage at least for the next few years. A little motivational alarm is okay, as long as IT professionals don't get discouraged and continue close skills gaps. IT professionals who take necessary steps today to improve their environments - regardless of IoT scenario - may experience the empowerment that comes with full visibility across on-premises, to the cloud and beyond, wherever workloads may lie.

More Stories By Patrick Hubbard

Patrick Hubbard is a head geek and senior technical product marketing manager at SolarWinds, with 20 years of technical expertise and IT customer perspective. His networking management experience includes work with campus, data center, high availability and disaster recovery, and storage networks, and with VoIP, telepresence and VDI in both Fortune 500 companies and startups in the high tech, transportation, financial services and telecom industries.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP Integration will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EARP Integration is a passionate software house. Since its inception in 2009 the company successfully delivers smart solutions for cities and factories that start their digital transformation. EARP provides bespoke solutions like, for example, advanced enterprise portals, business intelligence systems an...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...